I know I haven’t written much about my Jersey path to zero waste for a while, but in the back ground I continue to make small changes on a daily basis, working towards a zero waste lifestyle. I still believe if you take it one step at a time, baby steps, and incorporate that one change into your life first, before moving on to the next thing you want to change – it then becomes a habit, a lifetime change. Slow is fine, as long as it is forward!
But you know what, it’s hard! It’s harder than I though it would be. Not because I don’t have the will power, but because the more I try, the more I get frustrated by the overwhelming amount of plastics surrounding us in our day to day lives. It takes a lot of time and thought into working out an alternative plan, researching and then sourcing it – especially on an island where the majority of products are shipped in.
Fresh food has been the easiest of all – in our island we have access to greengrocers, fishmongers and butchers who are more than happy to support the zero-waste movement. It’s harder in the supermarkets, especially the smaller ones where all fresh produce comes packaged and presented in fridges, but at the larger stores it is still an option to buy some goods loose, for now!
Slowly but surely I am working it out. Wherever you are now, look around you and take a look and see how much you are surrounded by plastic, and how much of it is single use? We have family on holiday with us at the moment, so there are plastics at home that I wouldn’t normally have (squash, mixers, toffee vodka (Hmmm – might have to make an exception for this one!)), but others that are definitely mine (sunscreen).
I don’t have an issue with plastics per se, but I do think that its outrageous that plastics should be used for single use items. A non-biogradable product, using up our earths finite resources of petroleum, water and the human resources in its production, fuel in the transportation of the raw material into factories which then use more resources to fashion into the bottles, or tubs, or straws or pots – that get used just once, then are casually tossed away with little thought. According to the trade association PlasticsEurope, world plastic production grew from some 1.5 million tons in 1950 to an estimated 275 million tons in 2010; some 4 million to 12 million tons is discarded into the oceans annually by countries with ocean coastlines. You have to wonder what the figures are now, in 2017! Plastic also pollutes without being littered—specifically, through the release of compounds used in its manufacture, into water resources and the air we breathe. https://www.britannica.com/science/plastic-pollution
So what can we do about it? Quietly, behind the scenes, where I have been frustrated by something, I have taken to campaigning for change. There are a few things which are just coming to fruition now and I hope to share them with you in the next few weeks.
For now though, there is something YOU can do about it, if you feel the same way – Sign up for #PLASTICFREEJULY. This week I had a lovely message from a lady who follows the blog, Rebecca Friedman, asking if I knew if there was anything going on in Jersey for Plastic Free July – but it wasn’t an initiative I knew anything about. So, I found out more – and here it is for you!
This is the link to www.plasticfreejuly.org. Joining the challenge is really quite simple – all you have to do is choose to refuse single-use plastic during July. It can be a day, a week, the whole month, or forever more. It’s about becoming more conscious of the amount of single use plastics that there are in use in your every-day life, and taking an active stance against using them. Spread the word – you can make a small change – in your home, workplace, school – lets get people talking! We are an island of over 100,000 souls – if each us of made just one small change the impact would be massive!
The biggest waste of single-use plastics are plastic bottles, plastic bags and take-aways cups. There are so many ways to change using these wasteful products – with a little thought and planning it can easily be achieved. There are many islanders, and island businesses, that I have been meeting recently – people are starting to be the change that they want to see in the world, a real tidal movement, recognizing the environmental impact of our actions to our food, water, health and wellbeing.
For the rest of this month and the whole of July, I’ll post a series of articles on the individuals and businesses who have been inspiring me, or involve you in some of the campaigns I am currently fighting on. I hope you can join me.
Come on Jersey, we can do this!